Drug Discovery

The Drug Discovery Group combines expertise in cancer biology with drug discovery. Our drug discovery focuses on two areas:

  1. The chemistry and manufacturing aspects of the novel anticancer drug, EBC-46. This includes devising and testing a satisfactory formulation for formal toxicology, prior to clinical trial and
  2. Development of suitable assays for primary screening of a rain forest plant extract library, looking for anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities.

Our cancer biology work currently focuses on understanding the development and progression of cancers of the skin and oral cavity. Specifically, we are investigating the molecular mechanisms involved in the progression and metastasis of melanoma, head and neck cancer, as well as cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. The identification and understanding of aberrantly regulated pathways in these cancers is crucial prior to the design or identification of suitable agents to treat the diseases. Our research programs are synergistic and complementary.


  • development of the novel anticancer drug EBC-46
  • activities of specific melanoma transcription factors
  • molecular profiling and biomarker identification in head and neck cancers (including squamous cell carcinoma with perineural invasion)
  • identifying plant compounds with potential for addressing health problems other than cancer


  • National Health and Medical Research Council
  • Cancer Council Queensland
  • Perpetual Trustees
  • EcoBiotics Ltd


No Student Projects